Building a Real-Time Chat App with React and Firebase

Building a real-time chat application is a great way to explore the capabilities of React and Firebase. Firebase is a platform that provides a suite of services to help build and manage mobile and web applications. One of the services offered by Firebase is the Realtime Database, which is perfect for building a chat application. In this tutorial, we will walk through the steps involved in building a real-time chat app using React and Firebase.


To follow along with this tutorial, you will need to have the following installed:

  • Node.js and npm (Node Package Manager) – to install and run packages
  • A code editor (such as Visual Studio Code or Sublime Text)

You will also need to have a basic understanding of React and JavaScript.

Step 1: Set Up Firebase

The first step is to create a Firebase account and a new Firebase project. Once you have created a new project, you can create a new Firebase Realtime Database. In the Database section of the Firebase console, create a new database and choose “Start in test mode” to enable read and write access to anyone.

Once the database is created, navigate to the “Rules” tab and modify the rules to the following:

  "rules": {
    ".read": true,
    ".write": true

This will allow read and write access to the database from any client, which is not recommended for a production application but is fine for this tutorial.

Step 2: Set Up React Project

The next step is to set up a new React project. You can create a new React project using the Create React App tool by running the following command in the terminal:

npx create-react-app chat-app

This will create a new React project in a directory named “chat-app”. Navigate to the directory and start the development server by running the following command:

cd chat-app
npm start

This will start the development server and open the app in your default browser.

Step 3: Install Firebase

To use Firebase in our React app, we need to install the Firebase SDK. Run the following command to install the Firebase SDK and its dependencies:

npm install firebase

Step 4: Implement Authentication

In order to identify users in our chat app, we need to implement authentication. Firebase offers a variety of authentication methods, including email and password, Google, Facebook, Twitter, and more.

For this tutorial, we will implement email and password authentication. In the Firebase console, navigate to the “Authentication” section and enable email and password authentication.

In our React app, we need to create a login form where users can enter their email and password. We can use the Firebase authentication API to handle user login and registration. Here’s an example of how to handle user login:

import { useState } from 'react';
import firebase from 'firebase';

function Login() {
  const [email, setEmail] = useState('');
  const [password, setPassword] = useState('');

  function handleLogin() {
    firebase.auth().signInWithEmailAndPassword(email, password)
      .then((userCredential) => {
        // User successfully logged in
      .catch((error) => {
        // Handle login error

  return (
      <form onSubmit={handleLogin}>
        <input type="email" value={email} onChange={(e) => setEmail(} />
        <input type="password" value={password} onChange={(e) => setPassword(} />
        <button type="submit">Login</button>

This code sets up screen for real-time chat app react login screen

Leave a comment